The Perfect Amalfi Coast Yacht Trip
Explore the Amalfi Coast as it was meant to be seen — by sea.
The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s most iconic destinations. However, its steep, windy roads can make visiting all of its charming towns a bit challenging. Gorgeous islands nearby, such as Capri and Ischia, are well worth visiting but are accessible only by boat. The solution: Charter a yacht, and you’ll be able to stop in each gorgeous spot at your leisure, without the long drives and rocky trips on small boats. Our detailed Amalfi Coast yacht itinerary highlights the best restaurants and things to do during your yacht vacation in Italy.
Many Italian charters begin and end — embarkation and disembarkation, in yacht terms — in Naples. I recommend arriving in Naples the night before to minimize stress and potential delays before boarding your yacht. There are direct flights into Naples, or you can fly into Rome and drive down, by either renting a car, if you enjoy navigating Italy’s twisting, turning roads, or hiring a chauffeur.
There are several recommended hotels in Naples, including the traditional Grand Hotel Vesuvio and the more modern Hotel Romeo. Both are located along the water and have lovely restaurants and bars. Don’t venture too far from your hotel at night on foot. Some areas of the city are not as safe as others. Be sure to ask your hotel to pre-book a taxi for you if you’re heading out to dinner.
Naples is known for its fabulous pizza, so indulge in some the night before your yacht journey. There are many restaurants by the harbor, but they are quite touristy, so venture into the historic downtown or head to a local spot. Many of Naples’ pizza restaurants are casual affairs where you can expect to wait in line for a slice. We love 50 Kalò, which has earned accolades from The New York Times and Michelin Guide, and is well worth the trip.
Don’t miss a trip to this charming island during your Amalfi Coast yacht trip. It’s the perfect place to experience authentic Italian culture without all the tourists. Before you explore the town, climb to the top of the imposing Aragonese Castle, which guards the harbor. The views from the top are superb, and despite appearances, the walk isn’t too strenuous. Don’t wear slippery shoes or sandals, though! After you’ve admired the vista, head to the main part of the island.
Quaint streets wind through the historic town center, lined with trattorias, local shops, and plenty of picturesque churches. While you’ll likely have dinner on board to enjoy your chef’s delicious cuisine, you should grab a snack in town while you explore. If you’ve worked up an appetite, the friendly proprietors at Ischia Salumi can whip up an antipasto platter for you to pair with a local wine, Ischia Bianco, made from the Biancolella grape. Don’t let its humble appearance fool you — the food is delicious. Note that restaurants that are open in the afternoon are quite limited in Ischia.
Head back to your yacht for dinner, and enjoy the stunning sight of the castle illuminated at night.
Sorrento’s emerald cliffs and pastel-colored buildings make a dramatic introduction to Italy’s glamorous southern coast. You’ll want to relax on your yacht and play with the water toys, such as Jet Skis, kayaks, Sea Bobs, or stand-up paddleboards, but don’t skip an excursion into town. One of its best restaurants is Ristorante Don Alfonso 1890, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant with an exceptional wine list — and wine cellar. The wine cellar is located underground in ancient Roman tunnels. Be sure to arrange a tour. Order the fantastic tasting menu, which allows each guest to select their own courses. Unlike many Italian fine-dining restaurants, Don Alfonso is extremely accommodating to allergies and food preferences.
Amalfi is one of the most picturesque towns in all of Italy. Its dramatic cliffs are dotted with elegant hotels, vineyards, and colorful homes that seem stacked atop each other. Have lunch at Hotel Santa Caterina, the crown jewel of Amalfi. You can pull up to the fashionable beach club in your yacht’s tender. Or, if you’ve already been visiting the town, take the elevator from the hotel straight down the cliff to Restaurant Al Mare. The hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Glicine, is fantastic, but you can’t admire the stunning views in the dark. After lunch, spend the afternoon getting lost in Amalfi’s twisting roads, visiting churches and piazzas, and shopping. Have dinner on your yacht while admiring the town’s shimmering lights.
Capri is pure glamour. The waters are full of superyachts, the streets are dotted with designer boutiques, and the dining is superb. Of course, this means Capri is one of the more crowded spots you’ll visit during your yacht trip, but it’s well worth the journey. I recommend spending two full days here to see it all.
You’ll want to spend a day at La Fontelina, a famous beach club next to Capri’s iconic Faraglioni rocks. Be sure to book your daybeds far in advance, as the beach club is extremely popular. Soak up the sun, swim among the rocks, and indulge in a fantastic seafood lunch. After you’ve had your fill of the beach, return to your yacht by tender or head into town to explore. Consider yourself warned: La Fontelina is not accessible by roads, so you can either come in by boat or make a steep climb on windy stone staircases. It takes about 15 minutes to get from La Fontelina into town on foot.
In town, there are boutiques from seemingly every designer under the sun. While it might seem silly to shop at boutiques you can find around the world, these are stocked with rare finds that are difficult to come across in major cities. Think Bottega Veneta pouches in every color of the rainbow, the elusive Hermès Birkin without a waiting list, and Prada shoes that instantly sell out in New York. You should also seek out some of Capri’s local specialties, such as handmade sandals and beautiful linen clothing. Bottega Capri stocks a gorgeous selection of white linen garments and sandals, and Ragozzino will make you custom sandals in under an hour.
Restaurants in Capri are fantastic, so venture into town for dinner. Mammà is Capri’s only one with a Michelin star. Expect elegant Mediterranean cuisine and breathtaking views of the Gulf of Naples. Its refined interiors evoke the azure waters nearby. D’Amore serves creative contemporary Italian cuisine with exquisite presentation. Da Paolino is a great spot for pasta, and it’s full of locals and tourists alike. Eating underneath the twisting lemon trees and fairy lights is a magical experience.
Finally, conclude your Amalfi Coast yacht trip in Positano. Spend the morning at anchor, relaxing while enjoying the splendid views of the town. After an al fresco lunch on board, zip into town to wander the cobblestoned streets, eat gelato, and soak up your last full day in Italy.
After you’ve explored, head to Le Sirenuse, one of Italy’s most famous hotels. Its whitewashed walls and arches are instantly recognizable from nearly every picture you’ve ever seen of Positano. It overlooks the entire town, with views that tumble down the steep cliffs and pastel-hued buildings. La Sponda is the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant. It serves inspired Italian cuisine that focuses on fresh, local produce and seafood that lets the ingredients’ pure flavors shine through.
If you’d rather have your final meal of the trip on your yacht, be sure to stop by one of Le Sirenuse’s bars, The Don’t Worry Bar or Aldo’s, for a refreshing cocktail.
From Positano, your yacht will head back to Naples. It is next to impossible to fly from Naples to the US if you depart in the afternoon, so you’re better off spending the night in Naples or driving to Rome and catching a flight the next morning.